If you've ever been in downtown Linton the first business day of January, you'd think it was Black Friday all over again.
But it's not.
It's the day the city begins taking applications for the shelterhouses and Roy Clark Community Building in Humphreys Park.
And people take the process seriously. In fact, they line the street out front waiting for the building to open.
When it comes to family reunions, birthday parties, graduation parties and the like, most people don't wait until the last minute to book.
If they do, they'll probably be out of luck.
The booking process for 2011 starts Monday at 8 a.m. The doors to City Hall open at that time, but Fran Abbott, secretary to Mayor Tom Jones and the person in charge of the process, doesn't begin processing the applications until 8:30 a.m.
It's done on a first-come, first-served basis.
"People can come in early and fill out the application and have it ready (for the 8:30 a.m. start)," Abbott said.
"Some people want the same ones every year, but you have to take them as they come in."
That's the reason people camp out in their vehicles before City Hall opens.
"They get a number (when they enter City Hall), one, two, three, four and so on, and that's the order I (complete the applications)," Abbott explained.
"Last year I had about 40 of them (on the first day). It's tremendous the amount of bookings that I do for the park."
The small shelterhouses -- east, west and Girl Scout Cabin -- are $50 per day. That's for 8 a.m. to midnight.
The Roy Clark Community Building is $160.50 for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Abbott books the yearly items for the Roy Clark Community Building the last week in December.
"I put in all the standing items, the dates the (Linton-Stockton) Chamber (of Commerce) is using it, the ones for Phil Harris (Greene County Foundation Festival), Music Festival and the other things the city is having," Abbott said.
Abbott added that she sees a lot of familiar faces during the booking process.
"It's a lot of the same people. Some come because they'll try to get a different one from last year. They had to use the east one but really wanted the west but someone else had it," Abbott said.
"We do have some new ones that come in, but most of them are returns that do it every year."
Abbott added that the city takes cash or check only, no credit cards.
Chris is the general manager/editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .